Sunday, January 29, 2006

Clutch - Robot Hive / Exodus(CD)

These guys have been around for a long while, but this is the first time I've actually listened to any of their work, which is probably a good thing since their prior material before this was said to not be as good due to being in a slump (also known as an experimental stage in their careers), but their latest album from 2005 is said to be their return to form, and I'd probably have to agree after listening to it.
Clutch come off sounding like a hard rock version of Black Label Society, even vocalist/guitarist Neil Fallon's voice is similar to BLS wild man Zakk Wylde. But the musical style of Clutch comes off as a bizarre mix of jazzy-blues hard rock, but it's all good and definately something different from the norm.
I easilly recommend this one as it's great listening overall and will stand going a few rounds on your CD player.
CD Rating: ****

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Taproot - Blue Sky Research

Like I said in my last CD review, when a band evolves and changes it's sound, it could either be a good thing or a bad thing. In the case of the latest offering by Taproot, it's a really good thing.
This foursome went from being just another nu-metal band when their debut CD Gift came out in 2000, to a really great sounding hard rock outfit with their latest release, Blue Sky Research. The band comes off as a bizarre mix of Tool type ambiance with Staind type therepeutic lyrics and vocals. Heck, vocalist Stephen Richards' voice has matured from that of an angsty teen to an almost Aaron Lewis type harmony, and even sounds like the Staind frontman on some of the tracks on the album which deals with heartache, personaly loss and all the other things kids are angry about these days. Only Taproot do a much better job at trying to help the listener get through those tough times with their songs than Staind's latest offering.
Easilly a very good album overall, and it'll be a shame if it's not picked up by fans the way CDs by the likes of emo and punk bands get picked up over this in the main stream. I highly recommend cheking this one out if you can get your hands on it.
CD Rating: ****

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005 Extreme Metal Awards

It's been a big year for the metal scene, and this year I'll switch things up a bit and be fair by only awarding bands who've albums I've actually listened to (where applicable), unlike last year when it was so hard to dig up anything.

Best Album: American Head Charge - The Feeding
Runners Up:
- Pain - Dancing with the Dead
- As I Lay Dying - Shadows are Security
- Mindless Self Indulgence - You'll Rebel To Anything
- Bloodhound Gang - Hefty Fine
- Rammstein - Rosenrot

Best Song: Pain - Bye/Die
Runners Up:
- Breed 77 - Shadows (Accoustic Version)
- Bleed the Sky - Minion
- Roadrunner United - The End

Best Music Video: Breed 77 - Shadows
Runners Up:
- Slipknot - Before I Forget
- Mudvayne - Happy?
- Rammstein - Benzin

Best Compilation Album: Roadrunner United - The All Star Sessions
Runner Up:
- Taste of Christmas

Best New Band: As I Lay Dying
Runners Up:
- Mindless Self Indulgence
- Theory of a Dead Man
- Gizmachi

Worst Album: Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Runners Up:
- System of a Down: Mesmerize/Hypnotize
- Static-X - Start A War
- From First to Last - Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count

Most Overated Band: System of a Down
Runners Up:
- Nine Inch Nails